Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday termed the Khadoor Sahib bypoll results as “insignificant and inconsequential”, saying that the outcome “is only significant for Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who is trying to clutch at the straws as he knows that his ship is already sinking”. The SAD won the election after the Congress boycotted it and the AAP did not participate.
“This was an election of the Badals, by the Badals, for the Badals and Badals alone, as no one else was interested, concerned or bothered about it,” he remarked. The statement further read: “Badals’ (un)popularity will be judged about a year from now and even they know what will be the outcome,” adding that “Badals [should] be equipped for the real battle that would be fought in 2017.”.
Reacting to Badal’s claim of a “massive” victory, he said, “Instead of going into a shameless celebratory mode over a state-scripted and sponsored result, the CM should actually be feeling guilty and apologising to the people of Punjab that he failed to address their concerns and reasons which necessitated this election.”
Earlier, former Khadoor Sahib MLA Ramanjit Singh Sikki of the Congress had urged voters to stay away from the polling process, as the government had made no attempts to identify and apprehend the miscreants who were behind the sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib in Baath village in Khadoor Sahib, last year. Sikki had quit the assembly seat, following the sacrilege incident that led to the bypoll.
Out of the total 1.09 lakh votes counted, 83,080 went to SAD’s Ravinder Singh Brahmpura, 17,416 for a Congress rebel; while AAP rebel Sumail Singh Sidhu, who also contested as an independent candidate, could only get 2243 votes. The constituency had seen a low voter turnout of 58.46%; the voting took place on Saturday.